After a slow morning the four of us plus my nephew from South Africa went into Lisbon for some sightseeing.
We started with the Discoveries Monument (Padrão dos Descobrimentos) in the Belem area.
On the bank of the Tagus River estuary, next to the Belem Marina, this monument celebrates the Portuguese age of discovery during the 15th and 16th centuries.
It was conceived in 1939 by Portuguese architect Jose Angelo Cottinelli Telmo and sculptor Leopoldo de Almeida for the Portuguese World Exhibition of 1940. It was at first a temporary construction located just across the road at Praça do Império (Empire Square) in front of the Jerónimos Monastery, but demolished in 1943 after the exposition.
A new and larger monument was later constructed in cement and rose tinted stone, and the statues sculpted from limestone from the region of Sintra, which was inaugurated in August 1960 to mark the fifth centennial of the death of Henry the Navegator.
The interior includes an auditorium, exhibition hall and an observation deck which can be reached via an elevator or stairs with views of the river and the many attractions of the Belem neighbourhood like the Belém Tower and the Jerónimos Monastery which date from the Age of Discovery.
The bottom of the 52 mt (171ft) high monument with the shape of the prow of a caravel has a total of 33 plaster figures with Henry the Navigator at the top in the middle and 16 figures on either side of the ramp which represent figures from the Age of Discovery - monarchs, explorers, cartographers, artists, scientists and missionaries, each figure showing movement towards the sea.
The 50mt (160ft) diameter Compass Rose in front of the monument was gifted by the South African government, and executed with different types of limestone found around the Sintra area. It includes a 14mt wide medieval map of the world showing the routes of the Portuguese caravels.
|Compass rose square|
|From above - the square with the compass rose and the world map in the center (photo from the net)|
Lunch time arrived and we had lunch at Portugália Cervejaria (Portugalia Beerhouse) which has a fabulous location right on top of the pond with views to the Discoveries Monument.
Portugalia, which opened in 1925 as a beer hall and then developed into a restaurant, is famous for its steaks and sauces and seafood dishes. We found the food very nice - in the photo is my Codfish with chips and my daughter's is a Shellfish bread stew. Prices were probably a bit higher than average, service was very good and the view was tops!
Two adults (yes, adults) played with small remote controlled sailing boats and we followed their progress through the glass windows, as well as the ducks that glided past.
|Portugalia restaurant on the pond, with the Jeronimos Monastery across the road to the right|
|The famous steak on Portugalia's menu cover, a tile panel around the restaurant, our food, sugar packets with funny sayings - an empty tummy doesn't bring happiness and it's good to fast after dinner|
A 15 minute walk away or a few minutes by car is the MAAT - Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology which we visited next.
This ultra modern riverfront building was designed by a British architecture firm - Amanda Levete Architects and features a pedestrian area on the rooftop with views over Lisbon and the Tagus river, making it a unique space. The new building which opened in October 2016 is connected via a landscaped garden to the Tejo Power station next door.
On show was an electrical car - the Enfield 8000, from 1975, built in the UK and owned by the CRGE, the United Gas and Electric Companies. It would reach a maximum speed of 64km/h and had an autonomy between 40 to 90km depending on route and conditions.
There were a lot of electrical experiments and a lot of kids and adults eagerly tried all of them.
Back to the MAAT, we climbed to the roof to get the views over part of Lisbon and to the other side of the Tagus River. I have to say the views were amazing and free.
|Views from the top of the Maat Museum - the brown brick building is the Electricity Museum|
|The 25th of April bridge over the Tagus River with statue of Christ the Redeemer on the other side|
|The MAAT museum with the sun setting behind it and you can see some people on the roof looking at the views|
Before returning home we I convinced the family to drive to the city centre so I could photograph a series of murals near the Amoreiras Shopping Centre - called the Wall of Fame, where dozens of murals are painted.
The four of them took off to a coffee shop while I walked around the wall taking a picture of every one of them, phew...hard work!
When I returned to them we bought a few things at the mini market next to the coffee shop and on the way home called my sisters and parents so they would come and have a simple dinner at our place.
|Interesting outdoor tables and chairs, Amoreiras shopping centre (shiny towers in the distance), the wall of murals and a giant guitar|
The following day the wedding would take place, so we all had an early night.